Yachts, casinos, and stylish villas, the Côte D’Azur, famed as the French Riviera, is the ultimate image of luxuriating on a beach in Europe. This glimmering stretch on France’s Mediterranean Coast is a beach haven for A-listers, celebrities, and sunbathers that are drawn by the region’s pebbly beaches, colourful old towns, and glitzy resorts that gleam in the sun-soaked months of July and August.
As enticing as a summer spent on the French Riviera might sound, in the joyous month of December, the Côte D’Azur, with no exception, kicks off the festive season in full swing. From charming Christmas markets and winter carnivals to luxury ski resorts and chalets, the French Riviera boasts a myriad of exciting winter events and activities that are perfect for a family-friendly Christmas holiday. So why not head to Côte D’Azur this winter for an unforgettable experience? Escape the crowds of tourists, enjoy pleasant climate, and break the cliché image of a sun-soaked summer holiday in the South of France.
Here are Riviera Luxury Rental’s top favourite activities for you and your loved ones to enjoy a sun-kissed, colourful, and memorable Christmas vacation on the French Riviera:
Magical Christmas Markets
Every year, each town from the Italian-bordered town of Menton to glamorous St Tropez transforms into a winter wonderland for Christmas. From ice-skating rinks to mini rollercoasters and ferris wheels, the Christmas markets on the French riviera have something to offer for all ages. With an array of chalets serving up fresh local produce, vin chaud, and the most delicious hot chocolate, visiting the region’s winter markets gives you an instant taste of how the French celebrate Christmas! Grand, shiny, and extravagant!
The thriving city of Nice, the antique town of Saint Paul de
Vence, dazzling Cannes, and ultra-lux Monaco put up some of the most
extravagant Christmas markets on the French Riviera.
Nestled in the heart of Place Masséna, Nice’s Christmas
market is one you cannot miss! Enjoy spectacular views of the promenade as you
ride the market’s ferris wheel that overlooks the entire city, bite into some
fresh-made churros, or hit the ice skating rink with the children for a
priceless experience. By night, watch the moon-lit skies sparkle with colourful
fireworks. Nice’s Christmas village offers an array of fun activities for kids,
from carousels and bumper cars to wonderful shows and Christmas parades, a day
spent at Nice’s Village de Noël is bound to paint a smile across your children’s
Village de Noël 2019, Nice
Dates: 6 December 2019- 5 January 2020
Venue: Place Masséna, Nice
Hours: Daily from
11.00 to 20.00 (21.00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
Noël (Christmas) is celebrated most traditionally in the
perched village of Saint Paul de Vence.
From a tea dance to a truffle market, and musical performances, this medieval
town comes to life every year during the holidays. At Saint-Paul-de-Vence’s
Christmas market, don’t forget to grab the personalised and handmade souvenirs
that are a perfect gift for loved ones back home. Try a variety of authentic
French winter cuisine. Head back to your villa with a camera roll of photos and
a heart full of memories. What better way to spend a relaxed winter holiday
than in a classical French town on the Riviera?
Christmas Market 2019, Saint-Paul-de-Vence
Dates: 7 December 2019- 5 January 2020
Venue: 45 Chemin des Salettes, 06140 Vence
Hours: Daily from 14.00 to 20.00
In the haven of film festivals, Cannes, the city’s kilometre
long lights and Christmas decorations will capture your heart. A specialty of
the Christmas markets in Cannes is its “Santons”, which are small hand-painted
terracotta figurines specially crafted by local artisans. For those travelling
with kids, capture a photo of your
little ones with Santa Claus, share a candy apple or jump around a bouncy
castle at Cannes’ exciting Christmas market that is stretched along its
beautiful palm-lined Croisette. If you’re seeking an adrenaline rush, hop on
the thrilling rollercoasters and rides at Cannes’ Christmas market.
Christmas Market 2019, Cannes
Dates: 1 December 2019- 6 January 2020
Venue: Les Allées, 06400 Cannes
Hours: Daily from 10.00 to 21.00 (22.00 on Fridays and Saturdays)
In Monaco, one of the most luxurious hubs in the world,
Christmas is celebrated more glamorously than ever. Every year, on the sea-kissed port Hercule in
Monte Carlo, Monaco’s Village de Noël offers games and culinary specialties for
all ages! From soaring high rides and rollercoasters to fun arcade games with
prizes to bag, celebrating winter holidays in this luxurious city is a
one-of-a-kind experience. Once you’ve experienced the market’s activities, it’s
time to recharge at the food stations! At Monaco’s Christmas market, feast on
everything from candy cane and hot chocolate to the tastiest hot-dogs and
panini. As you walk back to your luxury villa that is just outside of Monaco,
see Monte Carlo’s streets studded with the golden lights and chic winter décor.
Village de Noël 2019, Monaco
Dates: 6 December 2019- 5 January 2020
Venue: Port Hercule, Monaco
Hours: Daily from 11.00 to 21.00 (22.00 on Fridays and
Staying at one of our luxury villas on the French Riviera, allow your villa’s expert concierge to give you recommendations of the best Christmas markets in the region. From the start to the end of your winter vacation, your villa’s concierge will transform your stay to the Christmas vacation of your dreams.
Skiing in the South of France
It’s somewhat surprising that the French Riviera that’s famed
for its sunny summers and turquoise beaches boasts some of the best ski resorts
that can be enjoyed in winter. As they say, it’s all possible here! The
abundance of ski slopes in proximity to the seaside is one of Côte D’Azur’s
most priced attractions. Lucky for you, Riviera Luxury Rental features a range
of bespoke ski chalets in Côte D’Azur’s favourite ski resorts.
Only an hour away from the French Riviera, Isola 2000 is the region’s highest and largest ski resort. Driving up to the village of Isola, enjoy the most jaw-dropping panoramic views of France’s southern alps. Once you’re at Isola 2000, apart from skiing down its 45 alpine ski slopes, including three black, enjoy sledding, hiking, and cool-off a day of skiing by grabbing a hot chocolate at Isola’s cozy restaurants. Isola 2000 is the perfect ski resort for families with children, at the children’s village, located just opposite the slope, book private snowboarding and ski lessons for your little ones to master the sport!
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In the heart of Mercantour National Park, Valberg is the place to be. From sports activities ranging from skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding to après-ski relaxation such as an aquagym, private sauna, and yoga, Valberg offers the most laid-back and lux ski experience in the South of France. Nestled in the alps at 1700 metres, a holiday in Valberg is the perfect base to enjoy a close-knit, snowy, white Christmas.
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The most spectacular winter vacation awaits you on the French Riviera. Whether you’re planning a romantic honeymoon or a family ski-trip, pick from Riviera Luxury Rentals’ handpicked range of the most stylish, opulent, and grandiose homes and chalets in the south of France. Featuring infinity pools, private gyms, and waterfront gardens, to name a few of our first-class amenities, staying at one of our luxurious properties will be the perfect base for the Côte D’Azur winter holiday of your dreams. Get in touch with our expert concierge team today and allow us to let you experience superior luxury on your holiday.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!